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Old 10-01-2012, 07:23 AM   #1
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Increase in neuropathic/central pain year after cervical laminectomy

Hey everybody. In August 2011 I had a cervical laminectomy without fusion / hardware on C5,C6 partial C7 because of cervical myelopathy due to congenital stenosis.

So I already have damage to the spinal cord because of the myelopathy considering to the latest MRI taken 10 months ago. I am getting a check MRI in a few weeks.

Although my walking got a lot better after surgery (still not 100%). I still have some balance issues but I can run at 6mph. Besides that I still have some pins and needles on occasion in my left handpalm and lower arm.

But since 3 months I am getting itchy lower arms at night. Like ants crawling on my arms. And since a month I am getting a light burning / warm sensation in my left leg. The burning / warm sensation isn't always present but keeps coming more often these days. Especially after going to the gym and when I'm tired.

I know this is probably central / neuropathic pain from my spinal cord damage right? But has anyone else experienced getting this even a year after surgery?

Thanks

 
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Old 10-01-2012, 08:20 AM   #2
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Re: Increase in neuropathic / central pain year after cervical laminectomy

There's really no telling, and not much point dwelling on it now if you have another MRI coming up...

 
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Old 10-01-2012, 11:06 AM   #3
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Re: Increase in neuropathic/central pain year after cervical laminectomy

Why did they do a MRI so soon after your surgery?

Did you have actual disc herniations before the surgery and what was the reason they did this surgery instead of an actual fusion?

Obviously no one here is a medical professional so we can just suggest things about which to speak with your Dr.

Running is definitely a jarring activity and if you have chronic spine issues...this can be something that can cause more damage.

Have they ever done a MRI on your lumbar area? Many times those with spine issues have them in other areas as well.

 
Old 10-01-2012, 02:14 PM   #4
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Re: Increase in neuropathic/central pain year after cervical laminectomy

Thanks for the replies

They did an MRI to see how the swelling of my spinal cord would develop over time.

My spinal cord was severely being compressed but two neurosurgeons at different hospitals looked at my MRI and couldn't find a reason why it happened and they both said that it was "bad luck" and normal wear and tear. The normal wear and tear together with the very narrow spinal canal from birth was probably the reason.

The reason that I didn't get a fusion is because they only removed the lamina from 2 vertebrae and a really small portion of another one. My surgeon said my spine was stable enough to not need a full fusion. They do this type of surgery without fusion lots of times (at least in Europe).

I don't run any marathons or long distances. Mostly just 10 mins in the gym. And my SCI rehab physio even said it was a good idea. But I have heard that comment more that it can be stressful on the spine, so I will look into that and maybe just sit on the bike more often instead of running.

The next MRI I am getting will be of my entire spine including lumbar area. I finally convinced my neuro that it might be a good idea to scan as well. His comment was "if you don't have pain in your lower back you don't have trouble in your lumbar area".

I am not looking for a diagnose or anything. I was just wondering if there are more people with a spinal cord injury that develop neuropathic / central pain even months after the initial injury / surgery.

 
Old 10-01-2012, 02:25 PM   #5
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Re: Increase in neuropathic/central pain year after cervical laminectomy

As I also have congenital spinal stenosis (although I got a laminoplasty, rather than laminectomy), I'm interested to see what your next MRI says...

 
Old 10-01-2012, 02:53 PM   #6
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Re: Increase in neuropathic/central pain year after cervical laminectomy

Quote:
Originally Posted by WebDozer View Post
As I also have congenital spinal stenosis (although I got a laminoplasty, rather than laminectomy), I'm interested to see what your next MRI says...
At what age did you start to develop problems with your narrow canal? Also cervical and lumbar?

I was 30 (almost 31) when I woke up and couldn't walk proper anymore. No signs at all, no pain, nothing. Too bad the damage was already done on the cord.

Too bad my surgeon who operated on me retired a few months after my surgery. Otherwise I would have asked him what made him decide to do a laminectomy instead of a laminoplasty.

I will post if I hear anything from my neurosurgeon after the MRI.

 
Old 10-01-2012, 03:20 PM   #7
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Re: Increase in neuropathic/central pain year after cervical laminectomy

<< Too bad my surgeon who operated on me retired a few months after my surgery. Otherwise I would have asked him what made him decide to do a laminectomy instead of a laminoplasty. >>

Your answer is contained therein. Your surgeon was old, and using old techniques.

I had my first surgery (ACDF) at 45, my second (foraminotomy) at 52, and my third (laminoplasty) at 59. The first time, I probably would have needed surgery even with a healthy-sized canal, as my C3-4 disk was completely blown out.

You have a head start, obviously. By the time you're my age, you'll be completely bionic, and impervious to further problems

Last edited by WebDozer; 10-01-2012 at 03:20 PM.

 
Old 10-01-2012, 03:54 PM   #8
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Re: Increase in neuropathic/central pain year after cervical laminectomy

Quote:
Originally Posted by WebDozer View Post
<< Too bad my surgeon who operated on me retired a few months after my surgery. Otherwise I would have asked him what made him decide to do a laminectomy instead of a laminoplasty. >>

Your answer is contained therein. Your surgeon was old, and using old techniques.

I had my first surgery (ACDF) at 45, my second (foraminotomy) at 52, and my third (laminoplasty) at 59. The first time, I probably would have needed surgery even with a healthy-sized canal, as my C3-4 disk was completely blown out.

You have a head start, obviously. By the time you're my age, you'll be completely bionic, and impervious to further problems
Haha well who knows what the future will bring. Two neurosurgeons I spoke to were pretty convinced that I would be fine until my 50's at least by looking at my spine's condition they said. But I don't believe that they can say something like that.

About the age thing. It might be true, but I've checked most of the hospitals and the neurosurgery group that combines all of the neurosurgeons in my country. All of the websites talk about laminectomies with or without fusion and removing lots of bone as the solutions for spinal stenosis. No information about laminoplasties. But maybe the spine specialists over here are still not as advanced as somewhere else

Last edited by rv80; 10-01-2012 at 03:56 PM.

 
Old 10-02-2012, 10:30 AM   #9
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Re: Increase in neuropathic/central pain year after cervical laminectomy

Where are you residing?

 
Old 10-02-2012, 11:55 AM   #10
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Re: Increase in neuropathic/central pain year after cervical laminectomy

I'm from The Netherlands

 
Old 10-02-2012, 01:25 PM   #11
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Re: Increase in neuropathic/central pain year after cervical laminectomy

I commiserate with you.
I suffer from chronic neck pain caused by a whiplash. It never goes away. Pure hell.

Does your neck hurt you all the time? and are you able to sleep at night? can you find a comfortable position to rest your neck on the pillow?

I hope things get better for you.

 
Old 10-02-2012, 02:08 PM   #12
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Re: Increase in neuropathic/central pain year after cervical laminectomy

RV80 - I'd hesitate to say that anything in the Netherlands is not as advanced as in LA. Laminoplasties have been around quite a while, though. I believe they may have really started in Japan, perhaps because of a hereditary tendency toward ossification of the ligamentum flavum, which is treated by posterior decompression in the form of laminectomies. They found themselves doing a lot of decompression, perhaps followed a few years later by posterior fusions because of instability resulting from the laminectomies. So they developed the laminoplasty to get around that. The procedure moved eastward from there, hitting Guam in 1996, Hawaii in 2002, and So Cal in 2005. I believe it got to in France 2009, but is currently bogged down in Belgium.

Last edited by WebDozer; 10-02-2012 at 02:11 PM.

 
Old 10-02-2012, 03:26 PM   #13
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Re: Increase in neuropathic/central pain year after cervical laminectomy

Thank you nochange! A whiplash can cause one hell of a pain as well.

I don't have any real pain besides this neuropathic pain. As since tonight when I lean forward and look down the entire left part of my body is feeling like it is on fire big time. It starts out in my thigh just above my knee and then quickly spreads towards my feet and upwards towards my shoulders with tingling and electric shocks through my left arm. Right side is totally fine.

Called the neurologists office in the hospital and they said I should first talk to my general doctor who said I should come by tomorrow to finally have a call with the neurologist office again. How efficient

Thanks for the information WebDozer. Maybe some private clinics over here do master the technique. I haven't looked into them. There are a lot of private clinics over here and they are gaining more and more popularity. I know my surgeon considered using fusion but he said he didn't want to put rods and a plate in my neck when my spine was still stable. We'll see how right he was when time passes by

 
Old 11-14-2012, 05:40 AM   #14
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Re: Increase in neuropathic/central pain year after cervical laminectomy

Well I finally had my MRI a month ago. They scanned my entire spine (lumbar, thoracic, cervical). Since I don't get fancy reports like most here and they were also not in my complete file which I requested I can only repeat my surgeons word. Thoracic and lumbar were fine. Cervical showed that my lesion caused before my original surgery had reduced a bit in size because of the swelling gone down a bit. This was the good part.

Since I'm still experiencing that the left side of my body starts burning and sometimes get some electric shock feelings in my arm mostly when looking down. The warm burning like feeling remains in every position above my left knie / thigh area. My surgeon couldn't find a clear reason for it since there was no actual sign of real spinal cord compression. However he did say that the part of my C7 which my original surgeon left there might pinch the cord in certain movements of my neck. But he isn't sure since it showed no compression of the cord on the MRI.

He says it's a hard call since I also experience tingling sometimes in my left hand but that it also might be coming from the spinal cord injury.

He said he could shave off the C7 vertebrae that is making the canal more narrow but that it is going to be my decision.

In the meantime I've send my file to another hospital and neurosurgeon for a second opinion on the case but I have to wait 6 more weeks until they have time.

Anyone else ever had to make these type of decisions?

 
Old 11-14-2012, 09:05 AM   #15
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Re: Increase in neuropathic/central pain year after cervical laminectomy

I've never had to make that type of decision GOOD LUCK!!

I'm having a level 2 ACDF due from Myelopathy and I was told that the nerve issue's may or may not be completely resolved and that it could take up to a year to see. I also have congenital stenosis. I'm hoping that all my issue's are resolved but who know's where I'll be in a year. Could be having to make the same kind of decision

 
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central pain syndrome, cervical canal stenosis



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